OK, so you've heard about what a great tool positive thinking is. You've read how it can shift your focus and even your perception of what is and isn't possible. There's just one glitch - you're a natural pessimist, and positive thinking is like trying to think in a different language.
If you're naturally pessimistic (and even if you aren't), you can take a step toward a more positive outlook by simply practicing a little addition by subtraction.
Every time you focus on the negative, it reinforces that view of the world. It reinforces why things can't be done. It reinforces what's in the way. It reinforces what's wrong with the world.
In a way, it's like taking a shovel and digging that hole of negativity a little deeper. And the deeper you get into your negative perspective, the farther away you are from that positive perspective.
To practice addition by subtraction, just refrain from following those negative thoughts when they come up. You might not be able to keep them from coming up - especially at first - but you can choose whether or not to feed them.
Try this: For the next week, notice your your pessimistic reactions. You may want to carry a small notebook and just jot down when you notice them. The point here is to help you be aware of when that pessimism comes up. When something is a habitual way of reacting, we often don't even notice that it's happening.
As you start noticing it more, don't worry about trying to slap a smiley face on it. That's just going to feel inauthentic, and your pessimist will quickly call bullshit.
Instead, just ask yourself, "Could I refrain from judgment on this? Is it possible that there is another way to look at it? Is it conceivable that my negative assessment isn't accurate? Or that there could be another, more positive outcome?"
When you can stop fueling the negative, you make room for more of the positive to find its way in.
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Time for a career change? Launch it with...
The Occupational Adventure Guide:
A Travel Guide to the Career of Your Dreams
by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst